The storm is gone, the rain has stopped, and the wind has subsided. Unfortunately, your business has sustained damage and your doors are closed to customers. While nobody expects this scenario, it does happen. Your next steps as a manager or owner are critical to getting back in business fast. With the right decisions, your doors will be open faster than the competition and you’ll gain a competitive edge. If not, then the opposite may become true. FEMA estimates that 40-60% of small businesses close permanently after a disaster. Even more disturbing is that if a business is not re-opened within 5 days, they have a 90% failure rate within 1 year. We are here to help you not become a statistic. Here are 5 commercial storm damage recovery tips to help you through the process.
#1 – Disaster Planning
While a disaster plan is great and reduces the total impact after a storm, most companies do not have one. That’s ok because it’s not too late to plan your next steps. Start with communication. Lines of communication are the first item that we set up on commercial projects. Take a minute to write down all those involved in the process and their contact information. Then determine who will oversee what. Developing clear lines of communication is critical for a project to run smoothly. Setting planned meetings will help keep the disaster restoration project on course.
#2 – File your claim now
If you haven’t already, talk to your agent about filing a claim. Don’t worry about your deductible, it will come off the payments provided by insurance. During widespread disasters, insurance-related businesses become overwhelmed. The first claims are the first claims that get paid. After you file a claim begin receiving estimates for repairs ASAP. This will help your adjuster set reserves for your loss. After reserves are set make sure you ask for an advance on those reserves. Learn about red flags during the claims process.
#3 – Protect and secure your property
A damaged building can become a liability after a disaster. Safety hazards such as electrocution, falling debris, and mold growth need to be addressed fast. A qualified and competent restoration company will help locate and eliminate these hazards.
Be careful who you trust. Fly by night contractors, looters, and other less than desirable people tend to flock to major disasters. The list of tactics people use to take advantage of these situations is endless. For contractors make sure you check reviews, licenses, and especially contracts before signing. Also, be careful of the claims process after a disaster. If the wrong people become involved things can turn bad quickly. If someone is asking about a policy limit then this should raise a red flag. Learn more about what to watch out for when hiring contractors.
#5 – Begin Mitigating Damages Quickly
Every day that water sits in a building the damage becomes worse. If necessary, generators and drying equipment can help this process along. Rapid structural drying is the difference between a short dry out project and a massive renovation. Beyond the additional damages, most insurance policies require that the insured begin protecting and mitigating their property immediately.
We want to help you protect the business you have worked so hard to build. When disaster strikes, we deliver the solutions to get you Back in Business fast so you can focus on your people, your mission, and your reputation.